View Full Version : Two questions on how to store a shotgun

December 4, 2010, 09:02 PM

I wanted to throw out two questions which i've heard various opinions on. I guess i'm thinking about these in the context of the remington 870

1) When storing the shotgun, should you store it with the action open or closed? Does storing it in one state or the other cause unnecessary tension to the springs, hammer, etc.?

2) Is it ok to store the shotgun with trigger pressed? That is, press trigger to drop the hammer, then engage the safety before storing. The reasoning for this is if you had to use the shotgun in a hurry, all you have to do is disengage the safety and pump the gun without having to engage the action release. One less control to have to engage in a situation.

And yes i'm sure the Mossberg guys will point out the superior layout of the Mossberg controls and I mostly agree but no need to point that out in your replies please :-)

Obviously, 2) could be dangerous if the shotgun is stored in saying a moving vehicle where motion could cause it to "pump" itself. But for these two questions, let's assume you're storing the shotgun at home where, barring a 7.0 earthquake, it isn't going to move on its own :-)

Interested in hearing people's thoughts on this.


December 4, 2010, 09:15 PM
1) - no
2) - leave the safety off if the chamber is empty - one less thing to mess with in a stress environmemnt

December 4, 2010, 09:35 PM
If residing in a safe then action closed and muzzle down, (This prevents any oil/lube migration down to the buttstock and softening of the wood.

Use a snap cap to drop the hammer and leave it close.
If for HD, then keep a butt stock sleeve with loops to hold ammo, then in a need situation, safety engaged then load one into mag and pump, then load spare into mag. KEEP finger OUT od trigger guard until needed.

December 4, 2010, 10:01 PM
Yes, I guess this would be for HD usage, not true (permanent) storage.

December 4, 2010, 10:31 PM
leave the action closed. saftey can be on or off. I store my shotgun unloaded, but I do this for safety reasons too since I don't have a big enough safe for my shotgun at this time. I have heard good and bad things about storing shotguns loaded, and I have noticed more TFL members seem to say storing loaded isn't an issue.

The reason why I mention this is the fact that I need to do more research before I find out if it can be bad overtime(it isn't an issue for me at this time, so I have never worried about it). Springs don't bother me, but I have heard something about warping tubes and/or it isn't good to leave shotgun rounds in the chamber also. I honestly do not know if this is true, and many people have different periods of time in their mind when stating their preferences. I guess what I am saying is I would like to hear more info about this sometime if any shotgun folks have more knowledege?(remember he is talking longtime storage;))

From the looks of things Jon, it looks like the info would help you too since you seem to be planning for longtime storage except in the case of an emergency? Every once in a blue moon it is good to release the spring by emptying the shotgun. Some people say this isn't necessary.

December 5, 2010, 10:38 AM
Springs are affected by "work", not by tension - where you might run into an issue is with the ammo in the tube if kept under tight tension for a long period may start to bulge - many folks like to keep their magazine loaded one round less than maximum for that

Dave McC
December 5, 2010, 11:03 AM
One of my 870s has been kept in "Ready" condition since around 1980.Like Agency policy where I worked, I keep mine with empty chamber, action locked closed, safety on. Loaded with one less than capacity, it has 5 loads on call, and three more 00 and two slugs in the Side Saddle.

Every six months or so, I take it to a range, unload it by shooting it as fast as I am capable, and running a few birdshot loads through it to finish. Then it gets cleaned, oiled and loaded with fresh buck.

My other 870 HD has been that for almost as long,except during deer season. No probs there either.

December 5, 2010, 06:21 PM
i have heard of a guy for protecting his guns from rust taking a pair of jeans or something of the sort and soaking it in motor oil then putting the gun in it and tieing off both ends?? would never do this to one of my guns and dont recomended it just because it seems far fetched but has anybody else ever heard of this?

December 5, 2010, 06:25 PM
Closed on empty chamber, safety off, full tube

December 5, 2010, 07:05 PM
the jean idea is a little odd oil is not a decedent it is a displacer any humidity in there when you put the firearm up would still affect it as well as the fact that air will still get in, any time the temp changes it will sweat too
gun safes are usually well insulated fire proof etc. but in the case that like me your cheap and just have a cabinet or locker try to keep it on an inerior wall not one that has the out side world on the other side of it
much like a piano the tend to have a higher chance of sweating but that isnt too big of a deal also put a moisture absorber in with them i have an 8 gun wood and glass cabinet that doesnt seal well when closed but i take a carton of baking soda cut the top off and carefully put it in a sock the sock breaths but keeps powder in and i have never found even a slight crusting of surface rust

December 5, 2010, 07:06 PM
thats a great idea about the sock may have to try that.